1 9 7 4 – 1 9 7 5 (USA)
28 x 60 minute episodes
After years of experiencing the rat race of Los Angeles, George Apple (Ronny Cox), his wife Barbara (Frances Lee McCain) and their four children – Paul (Vincent Van Patten), Cathy (Patti Cohoon-Friedman), Patricia (Frannie Michel and then Kristy McNichol) and Steven (Eric Olson) – move back to George’s hometown of Appleton, Iowa, were adjusting to a new culture, new climate, new friends and a new pace are not as easy as they thought it would be.
Also living with the family is Aldon Apple (Malcolm Atterbury), George’s father, and their dogs, Muffin, Sam and Bijou.
Lorimar’s Apple’s Way – created by The Waltons creator, Earl Hamner – was unashamedly built for a Disney family audience, with its watermill home, blonde Hollywood child actors, woolly dogs and understanding parents.
But the first season was too unbelievable, too saccharine, too cute, and it was slammed in the ratings by The Wonderful World of Disney.
While viewers loved The Waltons, they did not warm to Apple’s Way with its modern, less realistic themes.
A new producer (John Furia) was brought onboard to pinpoint the flaws and eliminate them before the series went into production for its fall season.
Furia gave George a job as a minority owner of the local newspaper to provide a reason for his becoming regularly involved with people.
He took away the look of affluence and added the normal conflicts of family life.
Frances Lee McCain
Vincent Van Patten
Frannie Michel (1)
Kristy McNichol (2)